Sunday, September 5, 2010

Savory Success

Today I made lots of yummy treats that didn't scorched or turn out in any way icky.
  • Apple Butter Muffins (Didn't puff up, and added lots of chopped apples, but still yummy.)
  • Basil Pesto (I took photos of my adorable sons helping me out, but since I can't find the cable, you'll just have to wait.;))
  • Tomato Sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, sugar, salt, oregano, and don't forget to add a potato to a) take out the acid, b) sweeten up the sauce, and c) help it thicken better.)
Then I dropped off the boys at their Grandma's, went out to eat, and wasted the rested of the night painting my nails and watching Clash of the Titans.  Another pot of sauce is on the stove, so off I go to do my toes.  Maybe by tomorrow I'll find my cable or card reader and wow you with the adorableness that is Torin and Quinn;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mixed Results

Why must best intentions die such horrible and tragic deaths?

My today's best intentions (which, if you remember from yesterday's post, was to be a domestic goddess of the oven) crashed and burned with spectacular failure. Not only did I fail to do all the things I wanted to do, I failed to do the things I did do correctly.

I made apple butter last night. Given it's long slow roast in the crock pot, I managed not to burn it. But the apples I used must be sweeter than my usual choice because boyhowdy is the result sweet. I'm not much for sugar anyway, so I had already cut the sugar back, but wow does this stuff pack a syrupy punch! The 5 or so pints I got out of the pot need special labels, methinks, cause eating it straight up could cause a coma.  Perhaps I'll use some of it up in baking muffins.

I also tried to make peach butter.  Setting out, I knew fate was against me. 1) I had never made peach butter before, 2) it was way late, and I knew it would require my focus until 3am, and 3) I was coasting high on my dinner success - copycat Panera egg souffles that totally rocked my tastebuds (YUM).  But given that they were seconds in a serious way, I thought it best to process the peaches before they turned to moldy mush.

FAIL.  First of all, the recipe wasn't the best.  I cut back on all the spices because I didn't want to overwhelm the peach flavor, and it still was too spiced for my taste.  And there wasn't enough sugar (which is an odd thing for me to say!).  And then, even with various sci-fi movies playing loudly in the background, I managed to fall asleep on the couch just long enough for it to burn on the bottom.  Normally, you can manage to save the top half of the goo if you don't scrape the bottom.  But scrape away I did, 'cause I didn't know it was burned.  Long story short - there was no saving the stuff.  It's gross, with black flecks of burned ickiness floating around.  Good thing I only paid $2 for the peaches!

And I didn't do much else today.  A few loads of dishes (catching up from the work week).  I picked some butternut squash and turned it into a gratin casserole for dinner.  (Another fail.  Came out like crap, mostly because I ignored my instincts and followed the recipe to a T, resulting in under-cooked squash.)  I puttered and watched the first 7 Buffy motion comics and got a fire going to ward of a decidedly autumn chill.

Oh well.  Butter luck tomorrow!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mission: Pine Nuts Accomplished!

Secured some pine nuts, finally!  My lovely friend and coworker Linda found them at Sam's Club for $15 a pound - a far fairer price than the $8/oz prices I've been seeing at Meijer.

I also scored a $5 bushel of tomatoes, a $5 bushel of apples, and 2 pecks of peaches for $2 (all seconds, of course) from the Versluis Orchards stand on Lake Michigan Drive.  Man do I love them:)  Guess what I'm doing this long holiday weekend?

Apple butter is already cooking away in the crock pot (as pictured).  (Want the recipe?  Find my favorite one here.)  Peach crepes for breakfast tomorrow, and then on to cook and can peach-apple butter, tomato soup, salsa, apple sauce, and pesto.  Might find some time to make a few pies or muffins or scones, too:D